Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
My-oh-my, how time flies! Can you believe another year has passed us by? The Mrs. and I were so busy, this one seemed to go by especially fast for us. I have no complaints though. Didn’t even mind turning 40. Life is good.
Here are the highlights of our 2013
- We sold our home in our hated neighborhood.
- We found a new home in a place much more agreeable.
- Our portfolio rocketed from $586,000 to $870,000.
- Our older daughter started the first grade.
- Our travels took us to Memphis (Tennessee), Madison (Wisconsin), Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Update on My Goals
Last January, I spelled out some goals for myself. Here is how I did:
- Get portfolio up to $672,750: This goal accomplished in spectacular fashion! We ended the year at almost $870,000. What a great year for everyone in the stock market and the S&P 500 climbed 30%.
- Double my cash: We started the year with $6,500 and ended the year at $50,000 as a result of proceeds from our home sale.
- Blog 3x/week: We finished the year with 192 posts.
- Move: Done!
Keep track of all spending: We failed in spectacular fashion. Ever since our move, life has been chaos and we just lost track.
- Save $2,000/month: Nope. Home construction has consumed (and continues to consume) all income. However, we haven’t had to dip into savings to pay for anything yet.
- Lower my exposure to stocks: We failed again here. We tried to buy several rental homes, but our local housing market is super hot, so we were outbid each and every time.
- Invest $10,000 in peer lending: Nope. 2013 is the year peer Lending Club and Prosper went mainstream. Good loans are much more difficult to find these days. I am less bullish on this investment, although the number of notes have picked up lately.
- Purchase a rental property: Nope.
- Hike five 14ers: Nope. I am in decent shape, but failed here.
Random Blog Facts
- My most popular post was Death by Retirement with 17,000 views.
- I finished the year with 250,000 views.
- 17 bloggers have participated in my 10 Questions series. 4 have since bit the dust.
- I finished the year with 192 posts.
What does Mr. Market have in store for us in 2014?
I have no idea! Neither does anyone else. Barry Ritholtz, a pretty awesome blogger about all matters financial, sums it up best here.
What do I want to write about in 2014?
Investing: I’ve dropped hints about my portfolio, but never written about it. I’ve done well with investments, but have come to the conclusion that my strategy is dangerous and I don’t want to give anyone bad ideas. Nonetheless, I think that I’ve finally figured out how to present it all.
- Fixing up homes for fun and profit: Before kids, Mrs. 1500 and I would fix up houses and resell them. Notice that I’m not using the word “flip.” That word has all kinds of connotations. What we did was much different than the image that comes into most people’s minds when they hear that word.
- Home construction: Our home is still ugly, but not for much longer. I’ll soon be finishing off an addition as well as gutting the existing bathroom and kitchen. I’m going to document it all right here in gory detail. (It really is gory, I hurt myself constantly!)
- 12 Challenges: I don’t really like making New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to challenge myself. The Mrs. and I will do a different challenge every month and I hope you join along.
Beware, here comes the mushy part
I am writing this on January 1st, 2014. My very first post was exactly one year ago. Thinking back, I didn’t really have any idea where I wanted to take this little blog project. I just knew that I enjoyed writing and I wanted to hold myself publicly accountable to my goal.
Lately, I’ve done a lot of thinking about being a blogger. There are benefits and there are drawbacks. Regarding the latter, blogging is a huge time commitment. I am already extremely busy with a job, children and home construction. I don’t want to half-ass any of these things, but blogging definitely sets me back.
However, I feel the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. The main benefit is connecting with so many great people. In my non-blogger life, it isn’t easy to find people who share my goals or even understand basic financial concepts (looking at you young cousins whose eyes glaze over when I start singing the praises of compound interest). By far, the best part is connecting with so many great people who share similar goals and share their ideas. I have learned so much in the last 12 months.
Finally, I’ve had the honor of meeting a number of you in person. What really stands out about these meetings is how great everyone has been. I’m a skeptic, so I’m always worried that people will disappoint when I meet them in person. However, everyone has been just great. I look forward to meeting more of you in the new year.
Thank you everyone and a prosperous New Year to all!
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